As the flu season makes its annual approach, one can already feel the tension in the air. Media outlets are all competing to create the scariest headlines imaginable, despite being seven weeks shy of Halloween, and government scientists tell us “It’s for our own good”.
Very soon, the “Second Wave” of Covid will be on us, they say. Despite no upsurge in hospitalisations or deaths, our freedoms are again taken from us. Social gatherings of more than six are to be illegal from Monday. It’s ok at work, on the bus, or a shop, but have too many friends round at home and the police will be knocking right through your door. Rumours of a universal 10pm curfew abound.
When contradictory data is researched by investigative journalists and doctors on social media for all to see, they are censored and removed by the likes of YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and major internet search engines such as Google. It is the world George Orwell foresaw. Freedom of speech is a dying thing. Your “rights” are being given the last rites.
As the economy buckles under the strain of new “health” measures, the only winners are the corporations – the real rulers. Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) have very little chance of keeping up with new regulations, let alone affording them. Cash is derided as “dirty” so more and more transactions have to go through the banks whey they can be monitored and taxed. If you doubt this, please have a think back to the last government measure that did not benefit financial institutions. Can’t remember? Neither can I.
It is worth noting that this economic crash is not affecting the 1%. While SME’s go to the wall and millions more sign up for Universal Credit (Up to 5.6m already from 2.2m), the rich are simply getting richer. Amazon continue to batter the High Street as people stay indoors. Billions in value have been added to the share values of financial and the world’s 500 richest people have gained over $80o billion so far this year.*
Border closings, travel restrictions and lock-downs, have also put an end to our freedom of movement. Gone are the days when a flight to the Costas was cheaper and more readily available than a bus to Brighton. Smaller airlines will get swallowed up by larger corporate ones as the industry shrinks and consolidates. International travel will become a domain of the rich.
When all is said and done though, the biggest loser in all this is society itself. Mandatory masks deter communication with strangers, with the hard of hearing being at a particular disadvantage. Compulsory detail checking deters socialising in pubs and restaurants and the only place you can converse is online where you can be monitored. If all that wasn’t bad enough, the police get new powers to monitor who you have in your own home. Your home is no longer your castle.
Martin Day – National Media Secretary